Today’s featured writer is Sharmin Afsana. Even though she’s only been blogging for just a few months, she has a ton of great blogging tips to share with you. She’s a great writer and has a great attitude. With those two things on her side, I’m sure she will go far.
My name is Sharmin, I’m the writer of A Few Moments (Available at: https://afewmoments.org) I wouldn’t say I have found my niche yet, I write about everything from lifestyle to my travels to whatever takes my fancy that week. My main focus and the aspect I’ve grown to love the most is my sharing my experiences growing up as a British-Asian girl in London who loves to travel. Travelling has become my passion and I love sharing my ‘few moments’ (excuse the pun) around the world. Aside from my blog, I’m a Fashion Design student in my second year, which I’m convinced I’ve made the wrong decision every single day (this can also be read about on my blog too!)
1. How long have you been blogging?
Growing up I’ve always enjoyed writing, whether it be fiction stories in my English lessons or attempting to keep a diary (which ALWAYS failed). Starting up a blog was always a thought of mine but I never had the courage to actually start it, I’d always let one thing or another put me off. However, in December 2017, I bit the bullet and started posting on my blog.
2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?
As I mentioned briefly, I’m a second-year student studying Fashion Design and Development at the London College of Fashion. You’re probably wondering why I said I’m convinced I made the wrong decision, although I do love fashion, I’ve lost the enthusiasm I once had for the subject. I enjoy sewing and being creative but I find myself dreading my classes and lectures (you can read more about my thoughts over on my blog!) But yes, my blog has quickly become one of the top priorities and distractions as an outlet to keep me sane and I’m in no way complaining!
3. What got you started into blogging?
I have always contemplated starting a blog, however, I never had the confidence to actually start it up. So instead of posting anything online, I would write several blog posts and keep them in the notes section on my phone. While the blog was initially a space to write out my thoughts, it has now become an outlet for me to give my views and as a form of distraction. The end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was a hard time for me in terms of where I was headed career-wise. So instead of sulking, I decided to focus my time and energy into my writing. The feedback I received was greatly appreciated and spurred me on to keep posting more content, and that is how I started this whole thing!
4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?
As I briefly discussed, my blog is about anything and everything I come across in my daily life. The main focus, if I had to pinpoint it down, would be my travels and thoughts. Since the end of 2016, I’ve traveled more than I could ever dream of, traveling has soon become a passion of mine and whenever I return from an adventure I’m just itching to go someplace else! During my travels, I love taking pictures and sharing them through social media and providing some sort of inspiration for people’s future travels. The ‘thoughts’ aspect I mentioned is heavily based on self-confidence and mental health awareness, I’ve touched on these areas through posts and I hope to post more in the coming months because it is an issue that is prevalent in all our lives and needs to be talked about more often especially within my ethnic minority community. By sharing my story and my experience, I’d be happy to know I’ve helped and reached at least one person out there.
5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?
A big help with my blogging so far has definitely got to be my social media presence. Alongside my blog I started up an Instagram account and regularly update my followers through there, Instagram has for sure been my biggest traffic provider for my blog. I had already established a Twitter account from a long while ago, I started my twitter way back in 2009 when Justin Bieber first stepped onto the scene and I made the account dedicated to him (how pathetic I know, but I have no regrets!!) Since my ‘belieber’ days, I’ve started to interact with the blogging community a lot more and the support system is like nothing I’ve seen before! It’s such a positive place to be if you want to share your experiences and compare with others. Another thing that has been working for me is actually engaging with my followers on all social media outlets. Whether it be leaving comments on my regular Instagram followers or replying to tweets on my timeline, engagement is super important to stay relevant!
6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?
An aspect I find difficult is engagement on my actual blog posts. By this, I mean receiving comments from followers, so far my traffic is not an issue but getting people to actually comment on my posts is proving rather difficult. I thoroughly enjoy receiving feedback and it allows me to see what I’ve written that’s going well and what I could improve on. Critical feedback motivates me to write more and I think in the coming weeks I will focus on engagement within the comments section more although as I’m just starting out it’s not so much a very huge worry for me… yet!
7. What tools are you using that you can introduce my readers to?
A really great tool I use for my photographs on my blog is VSCO, it’s a really great app and I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The app can be used to fine-tune your photographs, to create the perfect filters to match your exact aesthetic. I think it’s a great app to introduce your unique style and get everything looking super professional! As well as photographs, you can also use it for videos. Aside from VSCO, I have discovered Angie Makes (Available at: https://angiemakes.com) A site where you can find endless amounts of free headers, themes and everything else to make your blog look amazing! I highly recommend you check out the website if you’re looking to give your blog that extra special something to stand out. As well as free backgrounds, themes etc. The site shows you exactly how to use them if you’re not super tech savvy like me!
8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?
Honestly, so many people have probably said it but, just start. The biggest hurdle to get over is starting it all up, I was putting it off for months on end but once you start everything else just flows naturally. Don’t worry about the best theme or the statistics or if your content is good enough because in reality there will always be someone who may have something ‘better’ than you but there is no other YOU. You are unique, your voice is unique, so use it as you please and believe you me, great things will follow! Don’t worry about the numbers or followers, with effort, time and engagement that will follow. Just get over that initial worry, start up your blog and let the world know who you are! (Wow, could I get any cheesier!?)
9. Where can everyone find you?
Follow me on all outlets and I will be sure to follow back!
I hope you enjoyed today’s featured writer!! Next week we have Marc Schmidt.
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